mercredi 30 novembre 2011

Sia Christmas displays

Inspiration!  Instead of those kitsch Christmas decorations dotted around the house, why not choose a lovely vase (there are some cute mirrored ones here) and put a bright red bunch of tulips or berried twigs in them for a lovely Christmas table display?  Cheery yet elegant and somehow 'christmassey'!

vendredi 25 novembre 2011

Winter pot

Here's a pot that I did today as part of a garden overhaul for a client in 19th arr in Paris.  My client is going to decorate her entrance hall, with a glass door, in a tasteful gold and purple William Morris type print wallpaper.  The doors are also a dull shade of plum.

I saw these purple pots in Truffaut and thought they were just the job to place matching ones either side of the door, welcoming you home in an entrance which does not get direct sunlight.  Add a skimmia rubella, an ivy for trailing and two tiny mid purple violas, I think this makes a really pretty display for winter.  I liked the slight clash of the red simmia and the pot. and it looked great in situ.  Luckily the client thought so too! 

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus

dimanche 20 novembre 2011

BIG living wall (mur vegetal)

Lots of you seem to be interested in living walls.  They are all the rage and add a really unusual aspect to your living space - either inside or out.  Here is the mother of all living walls, photos taken in the summer:-

The Museum was built on a curved site where there was an old disused conference centre.  The Musuem opened on 23rd June 2006 and its creation was supported enthusiastically by President Jacques Chirac. The Museum (known as MQB) houses indigenous art from cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Vegetation completely covers the exterior, creeping round the windows.  And once you enter behind the enormous glass screen, you find a marvellous garden full of expansive paths, snaking round corners.  Very very exotic, completely in tune with the contents of this Museum.

The building was designed by Jean Nouvel and the 'green wall' is 200 metres long and 12 metres high.  It was designed and planted by Gilles Clément and Patrick Blanc.

The north winds and open expanse of the Seine, running alongside the Museum, has caused regular frost damage to the wall despite the same support system for roots and irrigation and drainage systems being perfectly adequate for another living wall project on the side of the department store BHV (previously featured in this blog).

The building is around 100 metres walk from the Eiffel Tower.

Pretty seating area for picnics or resting your feet

Great view onto the Museum cafe/restaurant

I am so impressed and it's projects like this that make me feel so small for all my tiny efforts to make a difference to the environment through planting.  Imagine all the inspired thought and sheer hard work in bringing these plants, making these paths and all the upkeep.  It is great to see a  pretty new public project paying such meticulous and thoughtul attention to the public spaces outside.  When I worked for an architect, they were obliged by law to add a 'green' element to each boring office block.  This was often achieved with little thought or care and by just 'filling in the formula' by plopping a few sad trees around.  Not for all the projects - they were not all office blocks thank goodness, but there was such a casual attitude 'oh yeah, I forgot the trees'.  Plop plop  plop, now we'll pass this building by the planning committee.

In this MQB project, the grounds and the building were so obviously conceived together and meant to be complementary.  It certainly offers the casual visitor,  the person just passing by taking a detour from the street, a very pleasant calm walk through the towering grasses.  The palette is very simple - green and white (see the clumps of anenomes in the areas with less light) and a lot of the foilage is evergreen.  The high glass wall fronting the space ensures the peace and quiet throughout the garden making it a real haven from the busy riverside.

vendredi 18 novembre 2011

Plant Sacks at Monoprix

I know, here I go with my favourite shop again!  Couldn't let the day go by without mentioning my find of plant sacks when I visited Monoprix today.  Nice plum colour, more for indoor plants and as it says on the packet 'New Trend'!

Large about 20 Euros, small around 15 Euros.

mercredi 16 novembre 2011

Parc Floral Autumn glory

Clumps of crysanthemums, blazing grasses and a path that you can't walk on composed of millions of pansies leading round the corner to?  Who knows?  (Mystery is always good in a garden) caught my eye in the Parc Floral in Vincennes on a sunny November day.

mercredi 9 novembre 2011

Pretty tree!

Can't go wrong with your Autumn pics.  Simple tree in my little town, really pretty.  So many of them around.  Take the time to appreciate them before we descend into winter and the bare branches.  I can't help stopping to look.  On Saturday, in the twilight the leaves hummed with colour, it towered quietly over the green space and I felt the true majestic quality of this tree.

I'm pretty sure the Druids thought that trees were sacred.  In that moment, I felt it too.


Here's two flower beds that I often walk past in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  They were planted with geraniums all summer and now they have these enormous clumps of crysanthemums.  Not sure how long these will last, but I imagine they'll probably change them before winter.  I'm betting it's going to be pansies!